It's not too late to get started on your fitness-related New Year's resolution at the third annual Palo Alto Community Health Fair this Saturday, which not only aims to focus on physical health but also on mental well-being.
This year, the event will take place on King Plaza and inside City Hall at the Council Chambers and Community Room.
The all-ages event hosted by the city and Palo Alto Family YMCA will include group exercise sessions, booths, fitness and nutrition classes and other wellness activities.
The fair also will include a variety of discussions, including an elder abuse awareness panel featuring two Stanford Medicine doctors and a presentation on "Nutrition and Stress," offering tips on how eating the right foods can lead to better stress management. Youth well-being collaborative Project Safety Net will hold a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training for the event, which takes place during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Palo Alto and Gunn high school students will take part in an hourlong debate on the benefits and drawbacks to universal care for people with mental health, said Mike Anderson, the YMCA's senior director of Community Wellness. A panel of three judges, including Project Safety Net executive director Mary Gloner, will select the winner.
King Plaza will host fitness lessons for Zumba, Nia, yoga and belly dancing; bicycle safety checks by Mike's Bikes; and a variety of other attractions. A handful of nonprofits will also have tables with information on their organizations at the Council Chambers and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will be conducting on-site cancer screenings, Anderson said.
Stanford University Medicine's initiative "WELL for Life," will be offering health insights through a computer lab that will show users comparative data on wellness from a survey taken by Palo Altans and other Bay Area residents at City Hall's Community Room.
"I hope people walk away from the health fair with just a better understanding and better sense of what well-being means to them personally," Anderson said.
About 500 to 800 people are expected to attend the event, he said.
The fair received financial support from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Melody Academy of Music and Wu Family Foundation. The Palo Alto Chinese school and Stanford Medicine also assisted with planning, Anderson said.
The event falls in line with the city's Healthy City, Healthy Community priority approved by the City Council in 2015 under a resolution that commits Palo Alto to healthy practices in culture, environment, food access and the workplace.